by Petar IGNJA
However, our public was informed about the big crime in Srebrenica before. A lot was written about that and we had a chance to hear during a trial in front of the Hague Tribunal testimony of two immediate perpetrators who shot at the people, carrying out an order. Whose order? Apparently, General Ratko Mladic's order.
Every war crime, especially this one, is a huge misfortune and every normal person would condemn it. And all those who committed crimes should be held responsible for them. But each and every one of them.
In that case, why did the broadcast of this movie provoke such strong reactions? And why did it to a large extent divide our public?
One of the answers can definitely be found in the fact that the film was produced by the British and that the film, according to numerous local reactions, was one-sided. Consequently, one must wonder about the motivation for the broadcast of this movie and its true effects on the public.
Every TV station, when it decides to do something like this, must in advance consider whether a blunt presentation of the truth (or a part of the truth) can produce effects that an environment such as ours will not want or not be able to accept in such a black-and-white manner. Elsewhere in the world, when the public is shown shocking films, after the broadcast, on the spot, round table discussions are organized and knowledgeable people discuss the film and the emotions provoked by the movie. In this case that, unfortunately, did not happen.
Later, in some programs in which the viewers were able to express their opinion by phoning into the program, all sorts of things could be heard, and there were those who with their responses yet again managed to shock the public. One woman had a positive reaction after watching the film about the crime in Srebrenica and responded to the question of the shocked announcer whether that meant that she supported the execution of seven thousand persons (in three days!) by saying: "Yes I do. They should have been killed."
That was not the end of this sad program. In the end it turned out that the majority of viewers expressed their support for this crime.
Those individuals, most likely, saw that film as western propaganda, whose goal was to again satanize the Serb nation. People reacted (perhaps) unconsciously by building some sort of their defense mechanism, definitely convinced that the truth is different and that the responsibility for everything that happened in the bloody Bosnian war is shared by all sides. A male viewer asked the following question - what about Naser Oric, the military commander of Srebrenica, is there a documentary about his crimes? Since there was no answer, the viewer offered his own reply: "Look Naser is in Sarajevo, he is at large and no one from the Hague has even mentioned him."
The movie was broadcast, that should also be mentioned, very aggressively and on several occasions, exactly on the sixth anniversary of the crime in Srebrenica, when Muslims laid a corner-stone for the memorial center for their victims. A Yad Vashem? Of course, all victims deserve memorials, to commemorate the dead and to serve as a warning to the living. Several thousand persons gathered in Srebrenica and the whole diplomatic corps from Sarajevo, led by Wolfgang Petritsch, the imposed administrator of Bosnia-Hercegovina, attended the ceremony. The Serb representatives were there as well.
Only a day earlier, near Bratunac, in the village of Kravice, the Serb nation also mourned the eighth anniversary of its victims and started to build a monument to its dead. Two thousand persons gathered, but there were no representatives of foreign embassies nor Petritsch.
The village of Kravice is one of the worst killing ground of the Serbs in this area. On Christmas day, January 7, 1993, this village was attacked by three thousand Muslim soldiers, led by the wartime commander of Srebrenica Naser Oric. Fifty Serb civilians died in that attack. According to the data collected by the Belgrade Committee for the Collection of Evidence About War Crimes, Muslim units attacked more than a hundred Serb villages, burnt seven to the ground, and killed a thousand civilians [in that area].
No one compares crimes based on the numbers of victims, nor do we intend to say (cynically) that it is clear who started the fight, but the biggest flaw of the broadcast film is that it portrayed crimes of only one side. A man is an intelligent being, but who says that even most intelligent persons like injustice.
The new director of the state-controlled TV station said recently that he did not intend to defend himself because his station broadcast the British film. Why should he defend himself? He is not being attacked by any serious individuals for the broadcast of the movie. But to the question whether his TV station intends, for example, to produce a movie about the massacre in Kravice (since the British failed to do so), he responded that it was well-known that TV Serbia lacked the needed financial resources and that was all he could say on that topic. That is not a good answer inasmuch as it only assists Serbs nationalists, who will now say - see, we were right to vote the way we did.
It must be taken into account that the morality of the less civilized world is different from the morality of the developed civic nations. Thus the collective inward thought shows the tendency to squeeze the facts into the previously adopted framework, or to even ignore them, in order to be able to develop its own fantasies. That fantasy is as a rule mythical, and is created from a dark archaic picture - archetype. For the archetypal vision of something the facts and even undeniable evidence about the crime in Srebrenica is only of secondary importance.
That is why this movie was received by a certain number of Serbs as a thorn poking a healthy leg, and the archetypal society that lives in the myth and from myths (the conviction that the Serbs are a gallant nation that never commits crimes), in order to experience a moral catharsis, will first have to listen to Aristotle and watch Greek tragedies whose mission is to lead the educated demos to a catharsis.